Surgeon ranks among the leaders in mechanical circulatory support

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has named David Morales, MD, as chief of cardiovascular surgery and executive co-director of the Heart Institute, effective in May.

He comes to Cincinnati Children’s from Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine with a reputation as an international leader in pediatric heart surgery, according to Jeffrey Towbin, MD, Heart Institute co-executive director.

“Dr. Morales performs over 250 surgeries per year, with excellent outcomes for all surgical procedures and all ages, including neonates,” Towbin says. “He is widely considered to be a star in congenital and cardiothoracic surgery and among the best and most experienced pediatric heart/lung transplant surgeons and complex congenital heart surgeons worldwide.”

Morales also is an accomplished researcher, especially in the field of pediatric ventricular assist devices (VADS), which help support patients while they wait for suitable donor organs to be found for transplant. He work includes more than 90 publications, 12 book chapters and approximately 125 invited talks.

“Dr. Morales couples his research skills with excellent surgical skills, great outcomes, and enormous surgical experience,” says Jeffrey Robbins, PhD, executive co-director of the Heart Institute. “His career has been characterized by his urge to excel as well as his drive to collaborate. In these respects, he is a perfect fit for the culture we enjoy at Cincinnati Children’s as well as the mission and vision that drive the Heart Institute.”

Morales earned a bachelor’s degree at Duke University and his medical degree at Yale University Medical School.  He trained in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, then completed training in congenital heart surgery as the Edward A. Jones Fellow in Congenital Heart Surgery at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine.  He has been at Baylor and Texas Children’s since 2003.

At Texas Children’s, he directs the North American Berlin Heart Reference and Training Center,  the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, and the ECMO Program.  He also is director of Clinical and Industrial Research in Congenital Heart Surgery. 

Morales is board certified in surgery, thoracic surgery and congenital heart surgery.